Last year, Netflix announced that it will expand upon the critically-acclaimed 2014 film Dear White People with a new TV series on the streaming service bearing the same name. Writer-director Justin Simien returned to write all 10 episodes and direct the pilot episode, and yesterday, during a Netflix presentation in New York City, the streaming service unveiled the first trailer, which announces that the series will premiere on April 28.
Set against the backdrop of a predominantly white Ivy League university where racial tensions bubble just below the surface, Dear White People is an hilarious send-up of "post-racial" America that weaves together the universal story of finding one's own identity and forging a wholly unique path. The satirical series, which picks up where the acclaimed 2014 film by the same name left off, follows a group of Winchester University's students of color as they navigate a diverse landscape of social injustice, cultural bias, political correctness (or lack thereof) and sometimes misguided activism in the millennial age. Through an absurdist lens, Dear White People utilizes biting irony, self-deprecation and sometimes brutal honesty to hold up a mirror to the issues plaguing society today, all the while leading with laughter. Here's what series creator Justin Simien had to say about the series when it was first announced last May.
"During the film's release, I had the pleasure to speak with hundreds of students and faculty across a variety of college campuses dealing with these very issues in real time. I'm so grateful to have this platform, not only to give a voice to those too often unheard in our culture, but to also tell great stories from new points of views. From day one, Lionsgate has been remarkably supportive of the vision for the show, and working with Netflix is every bit as harmonious as I'd imagined it would be. Bringing this show to such a vibrant platform is an honor I don't take lightly."
The Netflix series stars Antoinette Robertson as Coco Conners, Ashley Blaine Featherson as Joelle Brooks, Brandon P. Bell as Troy Fairbanks, reprising his same role from the movie, Brant Daugherty as Thane Lockwood, DeRon Horton as Lionel Higgins, Jemar Michael as Al, Jeremy Tardy as Rashid Bakr, John Patrick Amedori as Gabe, Logan Browning as Samantha White, Marque Richardson as Reggie, Nia Jervier as Kelsey, Nia Long as Neika Hobbs and Wyatt Nash as Kurt Fletcher. The original film first gained traction in 2012 with a concept trailer, underwritten by director Simien's tax refund. By 2014, the crowd funded movie made a splash at film festivals, earning the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
The series is written by Simien (Dear White People), who will also direct the first episode. Devon Shepard (House of Lies, Weeds), Stephanie Allain Bray (Hustle & Flow, Dear White People) and Julia Lebedev (The Dinner, Dear White People) serve as executive producers. Dear White People is Lionsgate's second original series for Netflix. The critically-acclaimed global blockbuster Orange Is The New Black returns for its fifth season on June 9. Take a look at the first trailer below for Dear White People.